Thursday, September 23, 2010

Easy Peasy Palak Haloumi

Well, between the title and the photo you're probably either a) intrigued or b) disgusted. Hopefully you're the former, in which case you get to meet my new favourite recipe. Love it. And you can use any number of different leafy green things in it, which makes it ultra-nutritious, too. 

I'm always looking for great recipes to use up greens ... mainly because I can't go to the farmer's market without walking away with armfuls of beautiful, dark spinach or silverbeet or sorrel or amaranth or sweet potato greens or water spinach ... I can't help it. The greens at the market just look so amazing compared to what you see at the supermarket. Vibrant. Perky. So as a result of my tendencies, I end up with bunches and bunches of greens to use up.

I love this recipe because I've always been a massive fan of Indian palak paneer (yummy), and because it entails putting a bunch of things in a blender and then in a baking dish (easy), and because it uses haloumi (extra yummy). Originally I used haloumi because I always have it on hand (as opposed to paneer), but I find it lends a saltiness and flavour and texture that I actually prefer to paneer. So that was a lovely surprise! Thank you, haloumi.

Easy Peasy Palak Haloumi

Serves 6-8
Prep time ~10 min + 45 min baking/rice cooking/wine drinking time

The sauce
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp salt
2/3 c passata or tomato puree
3 small cloves garlic, peeled
2.5 cm (1") piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 onion, roughly chopped
1/3 c lime juice 
1 c ricotta - though you could probably use labneh or yogurt
5-6 c greens - use any of the dark leafy greens, or a combination of (the batch pictured is amaranth + silverbeet)
1/2 - 3/4 c water

The rest
2 x 180 g packs of haloumi (or equivalent), cut into 2.5cm (1") chunks
1 Tbs coconut oil
Brown or white rice, to serve
salt to taste

*Use organic ingredients when you can.

1. Put all the sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. I left the water flexible because depending on the tomatoes and ricotta and greens you may need to add a little more water. It should be the consistency of a nice, thick milkshake.

2. Saute the haloumi in the coconut oil until nice and brown. I didn't use extra virgin coconut oil this time, as I didn't want the strong coconut flavour in this dish. 

3. Put the sauce and the haloumi into a baking dish and bake at 160C (350F) for around 45 min - perfect timing for you to make rice.

4. Take your palak haloumi out of the oven and serve with rice. Add salt to taste.

5. Feel pretty good about yourself.

I adapted this from a baked paneer recipe in Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

This, my friends, is amaranth
How much did this cost me?

My batch was completely organic, and cost me around $22 to make. I know, that sounds like a lot, but it's only $3-$4 per serving (rice included). Most of the cost was the organic haloumi, at $6 each pack. But, it's still cheaper than takeaway! And has cleared out my drawer of those pesky greens. For now.

Amanda xx


Karen C. @ DEVOUR|DESTROY said... [Reply to comment]

Ah.. what a wonderful (and sustainable) meal! I willll give this a try because I always find curries to be an intimidating mix of many, many ingredients. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Great Blog! I love your writing and your recipes!~

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Yum, I made this with haloumi for me and chicken for my husband and it's delicious. Thanks!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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